It seems March and April are the months for foodies with lots of events on. Dimmi have joined in with a few specials which brings me to tonight’s visit at Red Cabbage. Dimmi also had restaurant week with 50% at selected restaurants so hopefully you got in early before they all booked out. The Night Noodle Markets are back again but at Perth’s new Elizabeth Quay and Eat Drink Perth returns for another year so check out the program for what’s on.
I’ve got a long list of restaurants that I want to visit and Red Cabbage is one of them. Situated in South Perth very close to the Perth Zoo, I’ve heard Red Cabbage is highly renowned so I’m keen to see if I’m suitably impressed with an excellent dining experience. Fingers crossed.
Dimmi have specials on the 3 course meal for $59 and the 7 course degustation at $79 (usually $95) but I’ve opted for the latter.
Course 1 – Farm: Amuse Bouche
Pickled yabbies, mussels soaked in almond milk, fermented tomato
First bite of the mussels and what a delicious flavour! Plump and juicy, tender and bursting with a taste of the sea. I moved on to the prawns which were equally as enjoyable. I’ve not eaten pickled prawns and they were interesting. The touch of acidity refreshes the prawn and they still have a nice sweetness giving all the flavour. The fermented tomato was a really interesting element as well. Like a thick tomato sauce but so so much better. It’s smooth and blended with spices with a nice but controlled chilli kick. Fantastic start to the night.
Course 2 – Wild: Scallops, Cured Prawn, Beetroot Ferment, Burnt Apple
The scallops are perfectly cooked, plump and juicy which I really enjoyed. They’re further enhanced by the burnt apple and beetroot elements. The prawn floss adds a slight textual contrast to the juicy scallop flesh. While the prawn is cooked well, the curing has made it too sour though not sharply acidic. This detracts from the prawn flavour. In comparison, the prior course of pickled prawn maintained the prawn flavour but enhancing it with the pickling.
I’d been presented with a house made bread roll served with smoked garlic butter which I had not touched until course 2. The bread roll is really delicious and the butter is very light and creamy with a lovely smoked garlic flavour. I rather enjoy a really good baked item and the bread roll did it for me.
Course 3 – Native: Native Marron, Air Dried Pork Jowl, Fermented Fruit Salad
Manjimup marron cooked over coal, charcoal oil
You can smell the coal flavour coming off the plate. One bite of the juicy succulent marron and you can taste all the flavour that the coal has imparted which is so delicious. Very impressive but it continues to improve with the slightly silky oily texture of that delicious proscuitto like, air dried pork jowl, which adds just the right amount of saltiness to season the dish. The fermented fruit salad is a contrast to the strong flavours almost acting like a palette cleanser allowing you to enjoy the coal flavour over and over. Yum. I’m appreciating the creativity.
Course 4 – Paddock or Ocean
Ranger Valley Beef, Cauliflower, Mushroom, Black Vinegar Caramel
Blow Torched Ocean Trout, Shitaki Dashi, Cloudy Bay Clams, Pickled Cucumber, Cancom (Chinese water spinach)
I’d normally go for beef not that I don’t like seafood, but I don’t see clams nor ocean trout typically offered so I chose this. I started with the clam which is immersed in a strong shitaki flavoured dashi which really adds lots of flavour. The water spinach looks just like leaves on a typical tree but is quite juicy with a nice light crunch. The rare ocean trout is nice and tender and tasty, though enhanced by the sweetness from the pickled cucumber. The shitaki mushrooms also adds a lovely earthiness enhancing the flavour of the fish. Along with the dashi, all elements tie together and makes this a really enjoyable dish.
Course 5 – Cheese: Cashel Blue, Carrot and White Chocolate, Cheddar, Pear
Cashel cheese with a cheddar crumb, underneath is a carrot ganache with a pear and white chocolate sorbet
I’ve eaten a few cheese courses in my time but this mix of elements sounded unusual. The presentation of the dish is interesting and this looks like a cheffy dish, not a cheese course. The cheddar crumb is a biscuit and cheddar mix so it’s more sweet than cheesy. The cashel blue cheese has it’s typical strong flavour so the slightly sweet cheddar crumb partners perfectly, as too, the carrot ganache which has a different type of sweetness. The pear and white chocolate sorbet almost looks like a cheese in its own right. It tastes like a refreshing sorbet, yet has a gooey texture like cheese fondue. All I can say is wow! So yum, what a course. Everything just works and it’s so creative. Sets the bar high for cheese courses to be served restaurants wide.
Course 6 – Pre-Dessert
Coconut sorbet with chocolate and cherry
Usually the pre dessert is a well crafted sorbet, however, this course went further and is like a dessert in it’s own right. Lovely crunchy, chocolatey wafer biscuit like shards were thoroughly enjoyed. I also like the pistachio crumb. The coconut sorbet is super smooth and refreshing, livened by the slightly sweet cherry jam underneath. Put all elements together and it’s even better, though I rather liked those chocolate shards.
Course 7 – Dessert: Smoked Jersey Milk Pannacotta, Caramel, Ginger Snap, Raspberry
All this food had snuck up on me and I could have easily walked out at this point but one more course awaits and it’s beautifully presented. I really like pannacotta so this should be an excellent finish. The pannacotta doesn’t have a strong flavour and tastes like a fluffy cloud of milk. The other elements step in to provide the flavour but I think the caramel overshadows the dessert. It all works nicely, maybe tipped too strongly towards the caramel. Still, a tasty dessert. Boy am I full. But satisfied.
I was getting ready to leave but more food was presented – a range of chocolates to finish off.
White chocolate dusted with dark chocolate, strawberry jelly and peanut butter chocolate, green tea chocolate.
Who doesn’t like chocolate? A great way to finish off.
Red Cabbage Food Review Summary
Verdict: I was really impressed with the 7 course degustation Red Cabbage presented and I can see why they’re highly renowned. Dining in an intimate atmosphere with quality crafted food, there were several dishes that were absolute knockouts. The first of these was the amuse bouche of pickled prawns which presented delicious sweet prawn flesh, plump tender mussels, and a delicious chilli tinged thick fermented tomato like sauce. The second course presented cured prawn which was too sour for my liking but the plump juicy scallops were enjoyable. The third course oozed a strong coal smoked odour which added plenty of flavour to the marron, with the proscuitto like pork jowl providing the seasoning. Another highly impressive dish. The blow torched ocean trout was super tender and enhanced by the sweet pickled cucumber but it was the shitaki dashi which was flavoursome, particularly impacting the clams which were superb. This was followed by a masterfully crafted and presented cheese course which was fantastic. Cashel blue cheese was paired with a biscuit like cheddar crumb, a touch of sweetness from the carrot ganache, and more sweetness from the white chocolate and refreshing pear sorbet. The pre-dessert coconut sorbet with cherry jam underneath was excellent, but those chocolate pistachio shards were even better. The smoked Jersey milk pannacotta tasted like a fluffy cloud of milk with other elements providing the flavour, though a little over-influenced by the caramel. To finish, a set of chocolates was presented which was delicious. Fantastic dining experience well worth the money (even at full price).
Recommendation: Highly Recommend
Red Cabbage Restaurant Details
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Red Cabbage Food + Wine - 22 Mar 2016,